Translated and Edited by: luccayn.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
“Let me introduce myself again; I’m vice president Kishida Rin. Nice to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you too,” we answered.
She was the last student council member I had to please. If I could earn her approval, I would officially join the council. Knowing that, I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of trial I would be subjected to today.
At first glance, she resembled Saki in terms of her beauty. She had her beautiful raven hair tied into a ponytail, and one look was enough to paint an image of ‘purity’ and ‘innocence’.
What kind of challenge would someone like her present me?
“So… What to do today…? What to do… What to do…” She seemed lost in her own thoughts for a second. Then, she raised her head. “What do you think the Vice president’s job is? I’m not very good at translating abstract thoughts into words.”
What is she even on about?
“Supporting the president, right? Accepting big sis Ayaka’s ideas wholeheartedly and making them a reality, I suppose?” Matsuyama answered with a confident gleam in his eyes. I mostly shared his impression as well, but Kishida’s reaction was a bit on the iffy side.
“Hmm, you’re not wrong, but it’s not that simple, is it? Ayaka, how should we define it?” She turned to the president with a quick spin. Needless to say, even she was a tad puzzled.
“You should think about it yourself—you’re the active vice president, right?”
“Ah, right, let’s do that,” Kishida then clapped her hands as if an idea fell from heaven to her noggin. “The task for today is to think about what is expected of a vice president. Since we have the Culture Festival Executive Committee right now, think about what the vice president needs to do there and try to put it into practice. That’s my challenge to you two.”
This is quite the challenge. What actions are even expected of someone in that position? I thought Matsuyama’s response was correct, so I’d have to reconsider. Even the guy himself wore the same puzzled look on his face I wore.
“Well then, shall we head to the meeting?”
With that, President Midou took the lead, and the Student Council members, including me and Matsuyama, left the Student Council room.
“Last time, I think we decided on the main events for the Culture Festival. Unfortunately, the campfire and the beauty pageant were rejected by the teachers due to safety and ethical concerns. What a shame!”
President Midou explained to the executive committee in a clearly theatrical tone. Many people were clearly disappointed by this, especially the person who had been advocating for the beauty pageant; they looked utterly defeated.
“So, the main events for the Culture Festival will be the band performance and the quiz contest. Is that okay for now?”
“Yes, yes! Let’s go with that!”
First, they began discussing the band performance.
“As for the band, we’ll definitely have the Light Music Club participate. Is it okay to gather other members voluntarily?”
We all nodded in agreement. There really was no room for discussion on that point. However, Kishida raised her hand. I observed her actions closely to understand what the vice president’s role was like.
“It’s fine to gather members, but we usually end up with quite a few participants, right?”
Then, Yuki—not Kurita—who’d been asked to speak, nodded at the Vice’s assessment.
“Yeah, we easily surpass twenty groups. We usually narrow it down to about five through auditions.”
President Midou nodded upon hearing those words.
“I see. Indeed, having a band performance is a memorable part of youth.”
Hearing it spoken out loud made me nod to the sentiment. After Kishida and Yuki expressed their opinions, Midou then turned to ask the executive committee.
“We have this input, but does anyone have any good suggestions?”
The members of the executive committee began to murmur and discuss among themselves.
“Should we have everyone participate?”
“That would take a lot of time, wouldn’t it?”
“How about a lottery?”
“But then, the people who didn’t get chosen might not be happy.”
“Yeah, I think auditions are the best option.”
Many opinions were voiced, and it seemed like the discussion might veer off course. President Midou clapped her hands to forcefully silence everyone.
“From what I’ve heard, it seems like auditions are the most popular choice. Is that okay with everyone?”
There were a few people who seemed slightly dissatisfied, but overall, it appeared that most were in agreement. They proceeded to discuss administrative matters such as who would conduct the auditions and the eligibility criteria for applicants. However,
“Can the audition song be any song you like?”
President Midou asked, and the executive committee members agreed. However,
“That would make it difficult to establish judging criteria. We should have some uniformity.”
“Is it okay if the band consists of three members?”
“What about people who want to participate with just two members?”
“I really want to make the venue as large as possible!”
“It’s great to make it larger, but do we have enough budget? We need to consider if it’s realistically feasible.”
The discussion continued with opinions and concerns being thrown left and right. In fact, they kept interjecting each other with various remarks.
Looking with a bit more attention, I noticed the president was quite accustomed to it, and she didn’t lose her smile once. On the other hand, the members of the executive committee seemed to be quite dissatisfied with Kishida. Even Matsuyama seemed to be on the side of the discontented group. Kishida, the vice, seemed to be completely oblivious though.
What on earth is she doing?
I recalled the minutes of the Student Council meetings. There might be something written about the vice president in past records. However, all that was listed were the president, public relations, treasurer, and secretary.
There’s plenty about the President and co., but absolutely nothing on the vice…
I was dismayed by the fact that there was no useful precedent from the past. But there had to be something, right? After all, someone in the position of vice president, second only to the President, could have achieved nothing. I racked my brain, and then…
“Being in public relations means representing the face of the school.”
Misaki’s words floated to the surface of my mind. Still, I couldn’t quite put it into words. Why was I remembering this right now? So far, unlike with Public Relations, what does the vice president’s job really entail…?
—Ah. I see. It’s like that…
I suddenly felt like it all made sense as if a huge jigsaw had been completed right inside my brain. Brimming with confidence at what it meant to be in her position, I decided to wait for the right moment to speak up.
“Alright, that wraps up the discussion about the band! Leave the budget and details to the Student Council, okay?”
President Midou winked and made a peace sign with her right hand.
“Now, onto the quiz contest! Personally, I think it would be great to have it as a class competition. What do you all think?”
“I think that’s a great idea! Right, everyone?”
It was a sudden entrance into the conversation. Matsuyama’s interruption must’ve meant that he figured out his own idea of what the vice’s role actually was. Then, under his lead, many others agreed to the President’s suggestion.
This is the moment I’ve been waiting for…
Honestly, I was scared to speak up. Still, I grit my teeth knowing I needed to regardless.
“U-Um…” I raised my hand, stuttering.
“Hmm? What’s up, Akito-kun?”
The classroom fell silent as soon as I lowered my hand.
“If we do it that way, only the smartest person in the class will keep excelling, and everyone won’t be able to enjoy it…”
My words left many people feeling awkward.
“Read the room, will you…” Matsuyama muttered, almost growling. Then, he continued with a sly expression on his face. “Iwaki, having a Culture Festival where everyone can enjoy it is impossible.”
“Then, we can just increase the variety of genres. For example, questions that are perfect for weird otakus like you.”
“Oh, that’s a great idea!” As President Midou spoke, it seemed like she had forgotten about me, and the discussion continued. Matsuyama appeared delighted to have crushed me, having found his opportunity to strike.
Still, that was fine. I shot a glance at Kishida, the current vice. Lo and behold, she had her mouth open and frozen stiff.
I just hope I’m actually doing well…
Afterward, whenever there was an opportunity, I asked awkward questions to create an awkward atmosphere and let Matsuyama rebut them, repeating this act on complete purpose.
After the executive committee meeting ended, we began cleaning up the classroom. Matsuyama was the only one there with me, and it seemed like he was almost bursting at the seams, having held back some things he wanted to say to me. Without waiting another moment, he unleashed his mockery on me.
“Iwaki, you’re a moron.”
“I mean, saying such foolish things in that situation, of course, would create an awkward atmosphere. Well, thanks to that, I’ve secured my place in the Student Council with three victories.”
Saying this, Matsuyama started getting ready to leave.
“Oh, are you leaving already?”
“Yeah? Well, you should be able to handle the rest on your own, right? So I’m heading home first.”
“I’ll let you handle your last Student Council task. Be grateful, loser,” and with his final words, he left the classroom.
Having no other choice, I continued to clean the place by my lonesome. Before I could touch the broom again, however…
“Oh? Where’s Matsuyama-kun?”
“He left a few moments ago.”
“I see… How convenient, hm?” She muttered something cryptic before rolling back her sleeves and helping me.
“Um… I can handle this on my own. Don’t sweat it.”
“It’s fine, no worries,” she said while tidying up the desks and chairs Matsuyama had left uncleaned. Her work was swift, and a prime example of what I should be doing to improve my own.
“Hey, Iwaki… Akito.”
“What?” I felt my eyes widen a bit at the mention of my first name.
“What do you think a vice president is?”
“It’s someone that ensures the council doesn’t veer in the wrong direction. Someone who provides rational criticism… In a way, I see it as being the brakes of the Student Council.”
“Well, during the committee, I paid attention to your statements, Kishida-san. You were clearly making disruptive remarks, and I didn’t understand why…” I began, to which she simply nodded and kept paying attention. “So, I tried flipping through the meeting records in my head, looking for any clues I could find. Still, there was an unnatural lack of information about the vice position.”
“To be honest, I was stumped. However, suddenly, I remembered something Misaki-san—or rather, Karen-san had told me yesterday.”
“Yeah. She mentioned that the Public Relations officer has to be the face of the whole school. That’s when it clicked… In other words, the vice president is the opposite of that position, namely the hidden power behind the school.”
Kishida listened attentively to my explanation. I conveyed my thoughts carefully and methodically, having had time to ruminate them over in my head. Then, I finally concluded with the following:
“So, in other words, the vice’s role is to criticize and oppose the Student Council’s actions in public, so as to voice the public opinion and correct them to the right path.”
That was the impression I had of Kishida, and I was completely honest about it. However, unexpectedly, her shoulders started to quake as she looked down.
Hm? Did I offend her, by chance?
Before I could ask her what was wrong, she burst into a fit of laughter.
“Hahahahaha! I can’t hold it anymore! You’re trying too hard!”
“Huh?” I froze at her uncharacteristically crude laughter.
“Sorry about that! Haha!”
“Well, but the ‘hidden power’ thing! Hahaha! It almost makes me wanna retort with, ‘Do I look like James Bond?’ Hahaha!”
I felt a sudden heat rush to my cheeks as I reflected on my own cringy words. Ugh, getting carried away is really bad for me… I thought in self-deprecation.
“Hahaha, that was fun… I haven’t laughed this much in a while!”
While she was all giggles, I felt miserably embarrassed. Spare me, girl! I screamed in my own head. Meanwhile, she sat down on a random chair while wiping away her tears.
“Still, what you said is true. My job is to continuously question whether the current actions of the council are correct and, if they’re not, to steer them to better alternatives. That’s what’s expected of me.”
That was easier said than done, because…
“But people just up and say things like, ‘You don’t read the room!’ or ‘You’re a pain in my arse!’, right?”
She took the position of someone who purposefully threw a wrench into the works, even when all the cogs were almost connected. What would another think of someone who did that? There’s no way she would be oblivious to the public scrutiny, yet she still seemed ever-so-indifferent.
“I know. People generally don’t like me, but it’s still necessary for the council. I need to do this so that Aya can work well. I’d gladly be hated by others if it helps.”
I couldn’t say anything to her candid response, yet, the following words softly escaped my lips.
“She’s just too good…”
It seems my runaway thoughts sounded louder than I thought.
“U-Um, y-yeah? T-Thank you…” She nodded with flushed cheeks.
“Ah, i-it’s nothing…”
For some reason, we found ourselves in quite an awkward moment.
“S-So, we finished cleaning up. Shall we head back?”
“B-By the way…you can call me by my first name too. I’ll make a special exception,” she said.
“Um… T-Thank you, Rin-san.”
As soon as we opened the door to leave…
“Oh my, my, my!”
Every council member had been eavesdropping on us.
“W-What are you all doing?!”
“We came to check because you were taking a bit.”
“Y-Yeah, thanks. But Saki, why are you glaring daggers at me?” Rin said, a bead of sweat trickling down her cheek.
“It’s just your imagination,” she huffed.
Rin and Saki were talking about something, but I decided not to pry. Then, president Midou, Yuki the secretary, and Karen the public relations officer all stepped up.
“Good work, President Midou, Yuki-san, Karen-san,” I bowed slightly.
“Mm~! You can’t just call me without using my proper name! Call me Ayaka!” The president told me.
“Uh, alright, Ayaka-san?”
“Mhm. It’s fine if you get it now,” she nodded with her ever-present smile.
“Is the cleanup done…?”
“Pretty much, yeah.”
“Okay. Hm? Where’s Matsuyama-kun?” Asked Karen.
She reminded me he even left. “He went home earlier. He said something about letting me do my last council job as a commemoration or something.”
“That’s so him…” Midou expressed her exasperation, as though a younger brother had just committed something embarrassing. “So, Rin-chan, have you decided between Yuya-kun and Akito-kun?”
“W-Wait! I’m more scared of Saki!” Rin cowered a bit.
“Rin-san? You haven’t done anything, right?” I said, gently pulling Saki away.
“Sigh… Thanks, Akito…”
“No problem, Saki. But you went a bit overboard there, didn’t you?”
Then, Rin-san, who had been breathing heavily on her shoulders, took a deep breath to calm herself.
“You’re in, Akito. Work hard as our general affairs officer.”
“Oh, thank you!” A huge wave of relief crashed over me as I smiled.
“Congratulations~” All the other members of the council also shot me a warm smile in return.
I was now an official Student Council member. I’ll do my best for these people who actually need me!
“Oh, by the way, the announcement about whether you’ll take the general affairs position or not is scheduled for tomorrow, so no spoilers for Yuya-kun, okay?”
“Good. Let’s go!”
We locked the classroom and headed home.
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